KOCHI: The heavy rain that lashed the city on Thursday coupled with the bad state of some of the major roads affected normal life. Commuting along the dilapidated roads braving heavy downpour was a risky affair for all motorists and pedestrians.
At Edappally, the busy NH stretch in front of Lulu Mall was inundated. Water entered many shops located in low-lying areas. The roads in and around Kalamassery, Manjummel, Companyppady and Muttom were also inundated.
Meanwhile, most of the arterial roads witnessed heavy traffic congestion during peak hours.
The worst-hit was the Vyttila-Petta stretch while there were severe traffic snarls at Tripunithura, SN Junction, Kundannoor Junction and Vyttila Junction. Serpentine queues of vehicles were seen at Kundannoor Junction where vehicles take a U-turn towards Tripunithura.
“The service road at Kundannoor is in a dilapidated condition. It seems the authorities concerned are not at all bothered about commuters. Even without rain, commuting through Kundannoor Junction is a nightmare. The unscientific U-turn along the NH is always a risky affair,” said Arun Sadanandan, a commuter.
The Vyttila-Petta stretch where the Metro construction is going on also saw heavy congestion on Thursday. The potholes near SN Junction have resulted in vehicles waiting for hours. “It will take at least half an hour to cross SN Junction and reach Petta. The bridge ahead of Petta Junction is also pothole-filled, leading to long queues,” said Anil Mohanan, a commuter.
The Seaport Airport Road also witnessed long queues of vehicles from Irumpanam to Collectorate Junction during peak hours. Vehicles got stranded for hours at Chittethukara, CSEZ, Eechamukku and Collectorate Junction from 8 am. It was by noon that traffic flow became normal. However, heavy rain in the evening worsened the situation.
“The major issue here is the negligence of various departments in timely completion of pre-monsoon pothole filling. They will never do that. The road from Palarivattam signal to Padamugal Kunnumpuram was repaired last year after the intervention of the Collector. However, there were some minor potholes on that road which could have been repaired before the monsoon. The PWD did not carry out that work. As a result, they have become deeper and wider,” said Albin, an auto driver at Chembumukku.
In the suburbs, the water level of Periyar is increasing slowly. Many low-lying areas near Aluva are also facing the threat of inundation.